by Joanna Radov, CantonCharge.com contributor
Malik Newman returned for his second year with the Charge as a key offensive player in the lineup.
The 6-3 guard out of Kansas was an offensive machine, finishing second on the team with 16.1 points per game and 4.5 assists per game. In 30.2 minutes per game, he averaged 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 threes.
Charge play-by-play guru Scott Zurilla added, “I liked to tell Malik he was a ‘professional scorer’, a guy who could get a bucket almost anytime he wanted (a comment he liked and appreciated). One of the things I liked most about Malik was that while he continued to score, he showed real leadership by making room when Matt Mooney came to Canton. While his scoring dropped slightly, his playmaking and assists improved greatly which made the Charge that much better.”
That improvement was evident on February 21st when Newman delivered a career-high 10 assists as part of a 131-115 win over the Delaware Blue Coats.
Newman’s progression was also noticed in Cleveland when the Cavs gave him the call up on February 9th.
“Malik made great strides since joining the Charge midseason last year,” commented Charge GM Brendon Yu. “His consistency really improved and then this year he was asked to play a lot of PG and improved his floor game making him a more well-rounded player. We all know he is a bucket but he showed this year he can play both PG and SG making him a true combo.”
Newman was a constant component to the team’s early-season success. With 30 starts, he led the Charge in points on 10 separate occasions, tallying 17 20+ point performances and 15 10+ games, including a season-high 29 against Maine on December 19th. He also was the game leader in assists on 16 different nights.
Reflecting on the one the most successful campaigns in Charge history, Head Coach Nate Reinking commented, “Everyone knows Malik is a professional scorer which he continued to do for us. However, he sacrificed and really developed his game at the point. The way he expanded his game by running the show, finding teammates and bringing chemistry was exciting to watch. He’s extremely talented and hopefully just scratching the surface of his abilities.”